The Why?s Man

"My art is place specific and people specific." George Wyllie

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This drawing, The Log of Lord Aberdour was created in 2004. As with many of Wyllie's works, it was not a stand-alone piece, and a large scul?ture of The Log of Lord Aberdour went on display as part of the Aberdour Festival that year, a celebration of the days when the village had been popular with day-trippers and families on holiday.

The scul?ture is a large scale version of the drawing, the 'log' in question being about 4m long and the mast from which the name pennant is flying, about 2-3m high.

The Lord Aberdour, from which these works take their name, was a paddle steamer on the River Forth, which went between Aberdour and Leith from the mid-1860s and the title of the sculp?ture suggests that it is all that is left of the maritime heritage there. When the scul?ture was unveilled at the pier in Aberdour, George Wyllie said,

"We have turned our backs on our rivers. We no longer use them.
They have become places of dereliction, danger, embarrassment.
But they were once the arteries of the cities, teaming with life, a source of wealth and imagination."

He went on to suggest that every council should build a floating pontoon in its largest river and that Scotland should bring its rivers back to life. It was also around this time that George Wyllie had been working on his Crystal Ship concept for Glasgow's River Clyde.

In the summer of 2011, the Aberdour Festival once again included an exhibition of his work at the Boathouse by Silversands, Hawkcraig Point in Aberdour, along with photographs by Ken Reynolds, taken as a record of the scul?ture being made. Scottish schools can view some of those photographs in the archive.

*Scottish Schools GW Archive

George Wyllie Education Initiative

Managed by Media Matters Education Consultancy